Sunday, November 29, 2009

"This Is Special"

My sister-in-law and I, thought it would be fun to have a girl's night with our little girls. We made lavish plans to stay downtown at a hotel and take them out to dinner at a fancy restaurant (not Red Robin) and go see the Christmas tree lighting.  Something special. Here's what really happened.

Okay, so you remember how I don't really love the city very much?  Like, it's okay, once in a while, but Momma's a wanna-be country girl at heart.  I knew this going in. But I will try things.  It all sounded fine and good.  Maybe even relaxing. Good memories for the little 'uns. It was a goal. But as soon as I got down there, I pretty much felt like I didn't belong.  Like I had three legs. I was very much out of my comfort zone. That old school Sesame Street song and game kept running through my head, "Which One of These Things is Not Like the Other?"  Yep.  My thermal wearing under her jeans, sister-in-law felt the same. We are sure that none of the ladies in Sex in the City ever wore thermals under anything.  Ever.

We really tried to play it cool though,

Okay, let's just try and be cool city people until we get to the crosswalk. Ready?  Go.

It was really hard.  Cuz going to the city is one thing.  Taking your little girls is quite another.  Whatever freakities we had on the other side of the river, were amplified about 20X with Them Little Girls in the city.  Taking a walk in the suburbs is totally not taking a walk down Burnside and 3rd.  Nope.  Here's some random kid comments for ya--

I smell corn dogs.
It smells like dog poop.
Can we go now?
I'm starving.
My tummy hurts.
What was that?

We managed to brave the city streets and walk everywhere. We left the men and cars at home. So much to see and experience.  So much to touch.  And when I say walk, our kids don't really walk, so much as run, skip, twirl, stomp, tightrope-walk along the curb, pretend like they are in Mario Cart, spin around every single pole, touch every single 4ft high surface, and jump in every single suspicious puddle. Just totally oblivious to everything. **Inside joke--"We don't need a limo, we've got the short bus."** Which brings me to the freakities.  This is what the moms sounded like--

Don't touch it.
Stop touching.
Get your fingers out of your mouth.
Get off the ground.
You're too far.
Be quiet.
Sit on your bottom.
Put your tongue back in your mouth.
Did you just spit?
O.M.G., you just spit!
No one is allowed to push buttons anymore.
Zip your coat.
Put your hat on.
Pay attention.

It was exhausting.  At one point we called the husbands, who were at the Blazer game, and told them to pick the kids up on the way home from the game.  We were kidding (sorta), but it really got us thinking that next time, the dads get the girls and the moms go to the Blazer game.  That would be better. We also realized that there were some points of our adventure, that we really could've used the dads.  Like when we were sitting in the hotel room and needed snacks.  Dads are really good for running out and getting snacks.  And at the Christmas tree lighting this is what my little one sounded like the entire time--

Addy:  Can we have hot chocolate?
Me:  In a minute.
Addy: I want some hot chocolate.
Me:  I'll get us some in a minute.
Addy:  I'm dying for hot chocolate.
Me: (ignoring)
Addy: But you said we could have some hot chocolate.  I really want some.  Hot chocolate is wonderful.  It is so warm and tasty.  How about I go get it. I know where it is. Please get me some hot chocolate.  I want hot chocolate.  Hot chocolate. Hot chocolate.  Hot Chocolate. Hot chocolate.Hot chooooocooooolaaaaaate.
Me: (crying a little bit)

See, that would be a fantastic time to have a dad around.  The dad is also good at waiting in enormous lines and somehow balancing eight hot chocolates all at once.  Dads are good at this.  I, am not. 

After the tree lighting, we walked to a Starbuck's far, far away that didn't have very long lines and I was an inch away from ordering hot chocolates all around, when Addy-girl piped in, "I'm hot, I want some juice."  She got hot chocolate.  Dammit.

You'd think that once we got back in the hotel room, we'd be able to unwind, relax and start to have fun. Let the fun begin! Then that whole Three's A Crowd came into play.  So we were refereeing until bedtime.  My sister-in-law brought her book to read and reread the same three pages all night.  I knitted the same six rows over and over.  So relaxing.

The next morning we decided to walk down to VooDoo donuts and end on a high note.  We had never been and heard great things.  Lemme say right here that Portland has a bunch of homeless people.  A bunch.  And lemme also say that I never have cash on me.  It's a rare thing, but since you have to tip for everything in the city, I had some cash.  We got coffee for the trek to VooDoo and I felt bad for a lady that was standing outside the coffee shop.  I gave her a couple dollars.  Then felt immediately bad for the ten other homeless people standing around, but I had little girls to monitor and had to get back to that. 

So we get to VooDoo Donuts, which lemme say is not in the best part o' town.  Nope.  And there was a really long line running down the block outside of it.  It was seriously like waiting in line for New Moon.  We were in line 30 seconds and this guy comes over and asks if I have a dollar.  And since I never have cashola and I actually did (it was a sign), I gave him a dollar, and he then asked for more.  I then cut him off.  Carry on, Mister, you're scaring me.  So we seriously have to wait in line for a good twenty minutes.  Right alongside five dumpsters and the glorious smell of things and Lysol trying to cover up these things.  I wish I could've taken a picture of that smell for you.  VooDoo should really do something about that, cuz by the time I could actually get a donut, I didn't even want one (mine is still waiting in the bag, on the counter to be eaten).  But this is the best part.  When we finally get into VooDoo, there's this sign--

That's just great.  I am so done.  I've reached my limit with the city.  Time to go home to my clean, clean, clean, really smells good house, take a hot shower and take a nap with my dog.  That is all I want to do now. 

Despite all of that (does it seem negative up there?), and one of the kiddos adding, "160,000 button toys to her Christmas list," the kiddos had the best time ever! We heard them telling the dads and the grandmas all about it. Apparently they had no idea the freaks their mothers were.  Somehow, the goal was achieved.  And this is all so very I do think it would have been an entirely different blog post for you about the city if I had gone without my precious, precious children.  You know, like on a date or just out with my sister-in-law.  Maybe.  Then again, maybe not. Carrie Bradshaw, I am not.


Jen said...

OMG. Thank you so much for the LOLs. I feel the same way in the city, but for me it's REALLY weird because I worked downtown for years, even lived down there, and nowadays I always think WHY DOES THIS SOOOOO FREAK ME OUT NOW? When I *should* have been scared, I wasn't. Go figger.

And I have run through that EXACT list of instructions with my kids when we've ventured downtown. Why is it so hard for them to understand "Touch NOTHING" means "Touch NOTHING"???


Dee from Downunder said...

I have not taken the girls to the city for a long time, it would probably be a similar experience.

I do remember thinking at the time that regular rain to wash the footpaths might be a nice addition to the "aroma" that was in some places.Spanger is a new word for me, maybe that letter should be ink printed on the dumpsters outside?

Tiffany said...

I feel like I'm calling up a long lost friend- how are you?

I like my clean, comfortable bed too- going into the sitting always sounds like so much fun. Then you get there.

Geezees Geezees Custom Canvas Art said...

very funny!